All posts by Journey to the Cloud

Moving to the Cloud: Lessons from Jason Segel & Cameron Diaz

By Ben Stephenson, Journey to the Cloud


As you probably know, Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz recently came out with a new movie called “Sex Tape.” In the movie, Segel and Diaz play a couple who decide to make an adult home movie, and it accidently gets released online.

I saw the trailer a couple of weeks ago and one clip from it grabbed my attention. After Jason and Cameron realize the tape has been released, they start to panic. The clip shows the two driving in a frenzy talking about how the tape got released (you can watch the clip here).


Cameron: “How do you forget to delete your sex tape?”

Jason: “It kept slipping my mind, and then the next thing I knew it went up…it went up to the cloud.”

Cameron: “And you can’t get it down from the cloud?”

Jason: “Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a mystery”


This got me thinking about some companies’ abruptness to go to the cloud without fully understanding the consequences. IT decision makers are under increasing pressure from CEOs & CFOs to utilize the benefits of cloud. If your IT department doesn’t have a well thought out strategy, however, chances are you’re not going to be successful. You don’t want to move to the cloud for the sake of moving to the cloud and then be in a frenzy if something goes wrong. I spoke with one of our bloggers, and cloud expert, John Dixon to get his take on what organizations need to consider before deciding to move to the cloud. Here’s what John had to say:

Not everything is a great fit for cloud

Have some high-end CAD desktops? Not a great fit for cloud (at least right now). Just setup a new ERP system on new hardware? Not a great fit for cloud at the moment. Testing some new functionality on your website or a new brand entirely? Now we’re talking — setup the infrastructure, test the market, scale up if needed, take everything down if needed. 

Benefits of cloud are potentially huge, but hard to measure

Back in the datacenter consolidation days, the ROI of doing a virtualization project was dead easy. Consolidate at least 10 physical servers down to 1, and you have instant savings in power, cooling, floor space, administrative burden, etc. Some nice features came from having virtualized infrastructure, like the ability to provision servers from templates, easier DR, etc. Infrastructure teams were the big winners. In short, you could easily calculate the financial benefit of virtualizing servers. With cloud, this is not the case. If you look closely, there is limited benefit in just “moving” servers to the cloud. In fact, it may cost you more to host servers in the cloud than it does in your physical datacenter. However, IaaS clouds allow you to do things that you couldn’t do on your own. A pharmaceutical company can “rent” 10,000 servers to run a 2 day simulation; an online school can build infrastructure in a cloud datacenter in Australia to test a new market in APAC; a startup can use cloud to run ALL of its technical services (with no capital investment). In short, you’ve got to understand your existing costs, your use cases, and the benefits you are seeking. Jumping in to cloud without this mindset may comprise the benefits of doing so. 

Portability or optimization? Especially in Amazon Web Services

As of now, you can’t have both. Choose wisely. Optimizing your application for cloud (for example, in AWS) by making use of RDS, SNS, SQS, Cloudformation, Autoscaling, Cloudwatch, etc. can deliver some amazing benefits in terms of scalability, supportability, and reliability. However, doing so destroys portability and any hope of brining that application back in house. On the flip side, VMware vCHS offers awesome portability, but the opportunities for optimization are fewer.


So, lessons for the kids out there? Don’t upload certain home videos online and have a well thought out cloud strategy before jumping into anything you may regret.

Oh, and Jason…borderline offensive when you say “no one gets the cloud”…because GreenPages gets it…


If you would like to hear more from John, download his ebook on the evolution of the corporate IT department.



Tech News Recap for the Week of 7/14/2014


Were you busy last week? Here’s a quick recap of tech news and stories you may have missed from the week of 7/14/2014.


Are you interested in learning more about VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service? We’re holding a webinar on July 23rd about how vCloud provides IT administrators and architects with a common platform for seamlessly extending existing data centers to the cloud by leveraging the same tools and processes they use today.




Managing Resources in the Cloud: How to Control Shadow IT & Enable Business Agility


In this video, GreenPages CTO Chris Ward discusses the importance of gaining visibility into Shadow IT and how IT Departments need to offer the same agility to its users that public cloud offerings like Amazon can provide.



If you would like to hear more from Chris, download his on-demand webinar, “What’s Missing in Today’s Hybrid Cloud Management – Leveraging Cloud Brokerage”

You can also download this ebook to learn more about the evolution of the corporate IT department & changes you need to make to avoid being left behind.




Tech News Recap for the Week of 7/7/2014


Were you busy last week? Here’s a quick recap of tech news and stories you may have missed from the week of 7/7/2014.


Are you interested in learning more about VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service? We’re holding a webinar on July 23rd about how vCloud provides IT administrators and architects with a common platform for seamlessly extending existing data centers to the cloud by leveraging the same tools and processes they use today.



Tech News Recap for the Week of 6/30/2014


Were you busy last week? Take some vacation time for the 4th of July? Here’s a quick recap of tech news and stories you may have missed!


Interested in learning more about the rise of unauthorized AWS use? Download this webinar on-demand to learn how to address risks created by shadow IT!





Components, features and use cases for XenDesktop 7.5


Our very own Randy Becker recently wrote a guest post for Tech Target entitled “Components, features and use cases for XenDesktop 7.5.” In the post, Randy gives a detailed overview of XenDesktop 7.5 to give readers a better understanding of how to deploy it. Randy also provides use cases for when it makes sense to use XenDesktop 7.5. Check out the article on!

If you’re looking to hear more from Randy around Citrix technologies, he gives a nice summary of news and announcements that came out of Citrix Synergy 2014 (Part 1 and Part 2).





Top 25 Findings from Giagom’s 4th Annual “Future of Cloud Computing” Survey

By Ben Stephenson, Journey to the Cloud


Giagom Research and North Bridge Partners recently released their 4th annual “Future of Cloud Computing” study. There was some great data gathered from the 1,358 respondents surveyed. In case you don’t have time to click through the entire 124 slideshare deck, I’ve pulled out what I think are the 25 most interesting statistics from the study. Here’s the complete deck if you would like to review in more detail.


  • 49% using the cloud for revenue generating or product development activities (Slide 9)
  • 80% of IT budget is used to maintain current systems (Slide 20) <–> GreenPages actually held a webinar recently explaining how organizations can avoid spending the majority of their IT budgets on “keeping the lights on
  • For IT across all functions tested in the survey, 60-85% of respondents will move some or significant processing to the cloud in the next 12-24 months (Slide 21)
  • Shifting CapEx to OpEx is more important for companies with over 5,000 employees (Slide 27)
  • For respondents moving workloads to the cloud today, 27% said they are motivated to do so because they believe using a cloud platform service will help them lower their capital expenditures (Slide 28)
  • Top Inhibitor: Security, remains the biggest concern, despite declining slightly last year, it rose again as an issue in 2014 and was cited by 49% of respondents (Slide 55)
  • Privacy is of growing importance. As an inhibitor, Privacy grew from 25% in 2011 to 31% (Slide 57)
  • Over 1/3 see regulatory/compliance as an inhibitor to moving to the cloud (Slide 60)
  • Interoperability concerns dropped by 45%, relatively, over the past two years…but 29% are still concerned about lock in (Slide 62)
  • Nearly ¼ people still think network bandwidth is an inhibitor (Slide 64)
  • Reliability concerns dropped by half since 2011 (Slide 66)
  • Amazon S3 holds trillions of objects and regularly peaks at 1.5 million requests per second (Slide 71)
  • 90% of world’s data was created in past two years…80% of it is unstructured (Slide 73) <–> Here’s a video blog where Journey to the Cloud blogger Randy Weis talks about big data in more detail
  • Approximately 66% of data is in the cloud today (Slide 74)
  • The number above is expected to grow 73% in two years (Slide 75)
  • 50% of enterprise customers will purchase as much storage in 2014 as they have accumulated in their ENTIRE history (slide 77)
  • IaaS use has jumped from 11% in 2011 to 56% in 2014 & SaaS has increased from 13% in 2011 to 72% in 2014 (Slide 81)
  • Applications Development growing 50% (Slide 84) <–> with the growth of app dev, we’re also seeing the growth of shadow IT. Check out this on-demand webinar “The Rise of Unauthorized AWS Use. How to Address Risks Created by Shadow IT.”
  • PaaS approaching the tipping point! PaaS has increased from 7% in 20111 to 41% in 2014. (Slide 85) <–> See what one of our bloggers, John Dixon, predicted in regards to the rise of PaaS at the beginning of the year.
  • Database as a Service expected to nearly double, from 23% to 44% among users (Slide 86)
  • By 2017, nearly 2/3rds of all workloads will be processed in cloud data centers. Growth of workloads in cloud data centers is expected to be five times the growth in traditional workloads between 2012 and 2017. (Slide 87)
  • SDN usage will grow among business users almost threefold…from 11% to 30%  (Slide 89) <–> Check out this video blog where Nick Phelps talks about the business drivers behind SDN.
  • 42% use hybrid cloud now (Slide 93)
  • That 42% will grow to 55% in 2 years (Slide 94) <–> This whitepaper gives a nice breakdown of the future of hybrid cloud management.
  • “This second cloud front will be an order of magnitude bigger than the first cloud front.” (Slide 117). <–> hmmm, where have I heard this one before? Oh, that’s right, GreenPages’ CEO Ron Dupler has been saying it for about two years now.

Definitely some pretty interesting takeaways from this study. What are your thoughts? Did certain findings surprise you?




Tech News Recap for the Week of 6/16/2014


Were you busy last week? Here’s a quick recap of tech news and stories you may have missed from the week of 6/16/2014!


If you’re interested in learning more about modern day cloud management methodology, download this whitepaper!




Effective Communication Strategies for Successful IT Project Management


By Kristi Samber, PMP, Project Manager


Effective communication throughout the life of a project is not always as easy as it sounds.  It does not mean sending more emails to more people, capturing every detail and delivering it to all project stakeholders, and it especially does not have to mean meetings. 

In a Project Management role, you must facilitate accurate exchanges of information to your project sponsors and all project stakeholders. Communication is the glue that keeps the project together throughout the entire project life-cycle. Effective communication is required right from the planning stage of the project where communication is key in gathering requirements and negotiating budgets. In the initiation phase of the project, you are building your team and establishing expectations. This is the most critical during project execution, where you are communicating status and issues and collaborating on issue resolution.  Finally, during project closure, it is imperative that you communicate the lessons learned so that others can benefit from the knowledge gained during your project, as well as the overall success of the project to your project sponsors.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that about 80% of your time managing projects should be focused on communication.

Know Your Audience!

Your methods of communication vary by who your audience is, as well as the content of the information you’re delivering. There are both passive and active means of communication. Emails, webcasts, websites, even this blog are all examples of passive means of communication. Those who you are communicating with can review the information on their own time. Examples of active means of communication include face to face meetings, conference calls and telephone calls – where you have an active audience. Throughout a project life-cycle, both active and passive means of communication should be utilized. Be sure to consider your audience.  A formal presentation in a conference room may be the right medium for communicating the achievement of major project milestones to the executives within your organization. Whereas a conference call may be the correct medium to collaborate on issue resolution or to bring new resources up to speed. There is no one method that is right for all audiences or all information that is to be delivered. 

I believe that communication style is a key element to successful communication and extremely undervalued.  We all have our own communication style that to some extent is part of our personality.  For those of you who have done a DISC Assessment, this may sound familiar.  My communication style has served me well in my career. With my innate communication style, for instance, I am more likely to communicate the big picture than focus on detail.  But this does not mean that it’s ALWAYS effective.  When I am going to communicate information with someone, I think about their motivations, their goals, and their personality.  If I am delivering a message to a highly analytical person, who only wants the facts and understands the impact of what is being delivered, then I am going to flex to their style to facilitate the most effective communication. 

Helpful Tips

  • Meetings should be short with a clear agenda and objectives
  • Be timely in your communication – don’t wait on delivering an important message or in distributing action items.  Confront issues HEAD ON.  Don’t delay delivering a hard message – it just makes it worse.
  • Don’t information overload – nobody is going to read an overly verbose email.  Target your message and tailor to the key information that you are trying to relay.
  • Elicit feedback and follow up if you are not getting the confirmation or answers that you need–don’t assume that just because you sent it they will read it.
  • LISTEN and be present.  It is your job to make sure that you are capturing the stakeholder’s needs, that you are understanding their motivators and concerns, and that you are distributing the information accordingly.

What strategies do you use to manage projects?


Are you looking to learn more about effectively managing IT projects? Fill out this form and one of our PMP Certified Project Managers will be in touch!




Tech News Recap for the Week of 6/9/2014


Were you busy last week? Here’s a quick recap of tech news and stories you may have missed!

  • Google Pays $500 Million to Buy Satellite Maker Skybox Imaging
  • Brown University goes personal with 100 percent virtualized cloud
  • How Hackers Set Up Illegal Mines for Virtual Currencies
  • Increased Productivity & Design Flexibility: The Case for Migrating to SharePoint 2013
  • Georgia Tech Engineering Students Use Virtual Desktops to Access Specialized Tools Anywhere, Anytime
  • Google Offers Cloud Database to Aid Autism Research
  • Some clouds may bypass IT, but someone still needs to keep the lights on
  • Food Chain, PF Chang’s, Investigates Possible Card Breach
  • LEAKED: LG’s First Android Wear Smartwatch Will Supposedly Offer 36-Hour Battery Life
  • Clean Cloud Is the Future
  • Top Ten Competencies of the Modern CIO
  • Target Names Its First CISO
  • How Big Data is Redefining the Role of a CIO
  • Data Never Sleeps {Infographic}
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Gets from 97 Data Centers Down to 8
  • 14 year olds finds manual online, hack an ATM during their school lunch hour

Are you interested in learning more about 5 common mistakes in consolidating & virtualizing the datacenter?